Japan: Champion miler Maurice gets reality check
Neorealism made all in Japan to defeat champion miler Maurice
PICTURE: Masakazu Takahashi Champion miler Maurice gets reality check By Masakazu Takahashi 12:47PM 21 AUG 2016
Report: Japan, Sunday
Sapporo: Sapporo Kinen (Grade 2) 1m2f, turf, 3yo+
NEOREALISM (Noriyuki Hori/Christophe Lemaire) flew to the front after a good break and never saw another rival to land the biggest Grade 2 prize in Hokkaido Island, at a price of 162-10.
The son of Neo Universe held stable mate Maurice, last year's JRA Horse of the Year, as he charged clear under top Hong Kong rider Joao Moreira to win by two and a half lengths.
Lemaire said,"I thought there would be no front runner in this race so the plan was for him to go to the front and set a relaxed pace.
"He didn't hate the soft ground and Maurice has excellent speed as the miler so we had to set the pace. I am sure that he has the potential to win a Grade 1. Maurice is so strong but today we defeated him."
Connections had been worried about the longer distance for the odds-on favourite Maurice, however Moreira suggested he was more inconvenienced by the soft ground and a wide draw.
"The distance was not a problem for him," said Moreira. "But we had to wait for the chance to get an inside position after the break from the outside stall. I thought the ground was too soft to surge from the rear."